Eyes inlaid in amber with dark horn pupils
19th century, 4 x 3.6 cm
William H. Smith collection
A rare netsuke representing a naturalistic cockerel on a straw hat. On one side, a spider with eyes inlaid in dark horn.
This netsuke belonged to the “Smith Collection” of the Framingham History Center Museum. William H. Smith (1853 1923) was a prolific collector during the turn of the 20th century; He was drawn to the aesthetics of objects spanning three popular fields at the times: the natural world, the colonial revival and above all the arts of Japan including a netsuke collection.
Smith had no children and, before his death in 1923 he bequeathed his personal collection to the Town of Framingham, to be in custody and care of the Trustees of the Town Library. In 1966 the collection was transferred to the Framingham Historical Society.